Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"US corn ethanol fuels food crisis in developing countries"

Timothy A Wise is the Policy Research Director, Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University, Medford. OP-ED

"The US and other Northern governments can stop fuelling the food crisis with reckless biofuels expansion. The US can waive the RFS mandates to allow tight markets to adjust in a year of drought. It can join the European Union in reconsidering its mandates. It can halt the increase in blending targets to 15 per cent.

On World Food Day, October 16, the FAO will convene an emergency meeting on the food crisis in Rome. Disgracefully, the G-20 group of economically powerful nations declined to convene its own emergency meeting, with a US spokesperson saying that "agricultural commodity markets are functioning".

Global leaders should take a strong stand in Rome against biofuels expansion, endorse the use of food reserves to cushion markets in times of drought, demand rules to end financial speculation on food commodities and restrict the land grabs that are driven largely by global demand for biofuels.

It's time we put food before fuel and people before cars."

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